State Services Commissioner discloses expenses, gifts and hospitality
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie has today announced that the annual disclosure of State Services chief executive expenses, gifts and hospitality are due to be published no later than Friday 17 July.
State Services chief executives publish details of their expenses and any gifts and hospitality they receive at least once a year. The disclosures are made on their agency's website with a link posted on www.data.govt.nz.
As part of this process Mr Rennie has today published his own annual disclosure of expenses, hospitality and gifts.
"I introduced the disclosure regime in 2010 to promote transparency in the spending of public money and acceptance of gifts and hospitality. It is imperative that public funds are spent judiciously, and that senior Public Servants model the highest standards of behaviour," Mr Rennie said.
"It is important that chief executives have the resources to do their job effectively, which may include travel and the need to engage with stakeholders and represent their agency at a range of functions," said Mr Rennie.
"Equally, there is quite rightly a strong interest in how public money is spent and what gifts and hospitality senior Public Servants are receiving," he said.
"Each chief executive must make their own decisions about the expenses they incur and the acceptance of gifts or hospitality," Mr Rennie said.
These decisions must be made in accordance with their agency's policies. For crown entities these disclosures are made in accordance with the policies approved by their Board. In all cases, expenditure must be in line with the Standards of Integrity and Conduct.
In SSC's case Mr Rennie's disclosure has been reviewed by the chair of the State Services Commission's Risk and Audit Committee, Ms Jackie Lloyd. SSC's Risk and Audit Committee provides SSC with independent advice on assurance, risk and audit matters.
"When making their decisions each Chief Executive needs to bear in mind the importance of responsibility and restraint when spending tax payers' money and where and when it is appropriate to accept gifts and hospitality on behalf of their agency," said Mr Rennie.
Details of Mr Rennie's expenses, gifts and hospitality are available on the State Services Commission (SSC) website http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sscer-expense-disclosures with a link on the government data website. In the 2014/15 financial year Mr Rennie spent a total of $16,056.17 of which $13,810.70 was travel expenses. Mr Rennie's total expenses in the 2013/14 and 2012/13 years were $27,099.42 and $26,493.14 respectively.
The disclosure regime has operated well since 2010 and chief executives have supported the disclosure process. Disclosures were initially made six-monthly, however Chief Executives may now opt to disclose their expenses, gifts and hospitality on an annual basis or more frequently, such as six or three monthly, to provide more flexibility.
Media enquiries: Tim Ingleton 04 495 6648
Notes for reporters:
The requirement to disclose expenses, gifts and hospitality applies to chief executives of all Public Service departments (central government departments and ministries) and statutory Crown Entities. Although not mandatory, SSC encourages chief executives in other organisations in the state sector such as Crown Research Institutes, State-Owned Enterprises and Tertiary Education Institutions to also make disclosures in the interests of public transparency.
Expenses that are released relate to all expenditure the chief executive incurs on travel (accommodation, fares, meals and related costs), providing hospitality of any kind, and 'others' which comprises anything not covered by the first two categories. Not included in the disclosure are general business administration costs such as equipment leasing costs and depreciation, rent and cleaning of agency premises, and remuneration and personnel costs of senior management.